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Public Space for Community Development

May 15th, 2024
6:00pm - 8:00pm
250 W 57th St, New York, NY 10107, USA

Blondel A. Pinnock is the President and CEO of Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (BSRC), the nation’s first and oldest Community Development Corporation. She is the first woman to hold that position in BSRC’s 55 year history. Prior to joining BSRC, Ms. Pinnock served as Chief Lending Officer for Carver Federal Savings Bank, the largest publicly traded black-managed bank in the US at that time. There she was the first woman to hold the title of Chief Lending Officer and President of Carver Community Development Corporation.

Pascale Sablan is a visionary architect with an impressive track record of transforming the built environment. Pascale has been recognized as one of the most influential architects of her generation, with a practice characterized by a commitment to excellence, innovation, and sustainability. She currently serves as the NOMA Global President and Chief Executive Officer at Adjaye Associates, New York Studio in charge of all operations, whilst continuing to lead efforts for architectural projects, community engagement, and business development.

Elizabeth Hamby is an artist who serves as the Director of Civic Engagement at the New York City Department of City Planning (DCP). Elizabeth’s work is focused on fostering innovation and continuous improvement in DCP’s work engaging New Yorkers in planning for the future of their neighborhoods and the city as a whole. For more than 20 years, Elizabeth has worked across grassroots, non-profit, and governmental organizations to help people work together and lift the lid on their collective imagination.

Join us for a conversation on reimagining public space for community development with Blondel Pinnock, Pascale Sablan and Elizabeth Hamby. 

Community development organizations and residents advocate for local needs — from affordable housing to small business support and quality jobs. To do that, they have long used public spaces in their neighborhoods to share resources, organize and build community power. There is a powerful opportunity for communities to work collaboratively with designers and city agencies to define and tap into the value of their public spaces.

We’ll discuss the relationship between public space and community development with Blondel Pinnock, Pascale Sablan and Elizabeth Hamby. We’ll then lead an interactive discussion with speakers and participants on the question: How can community leaders, designers, and the City shape and utilize public space to meet community needs?

Guest & Accessibility Policies

Urban Design Forum promotes conversations between invited civic leaders, designers, developers, and advocates. This event is open to Urban Design Forum Fellows, ANHD members and their invited guests. Fellows and members can RSVP through this link.

We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals to engage fully.

  • The venue will have an entrance and elevators that are ADA-accessible.
  • This event will have microphones and speakers.
  • If you’re not feeling well, please stay home. Face masks are encouraged, particularly if you have been recently exposed to colds, flus, or other illness. If you have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days, a high-quality, well-fitting face covering is required at all times.
  • Please refrain from wearing strong fragrances to accommodate guests with allergies or environmental sensitivities.
  • If you have additional needs, we will do our best to accommodate. Please contact rsvp@urbandesignforum.org.
About the Local Center

Urban Design Forum and the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD) are partnering on the Local Center, a community design initiative to equip local leaders with the technical assistance, funding, and connections to re-envision and activate public spaces in their neighborhood. 

Continuing Education

Urban Design Forum is now an AIA CES provider. If there are other continuing education credits you are interested in receiving, please contact Miranda Bellizia, Director of Member Engagement, miranda@urbandesignforum.org.

This event is been approved for 2 AIA CES LUs.


Our Local Center culture projects are made possible with lead support from the Mellon Foundation and with additional major support from the Charles H. Revson Foundation, the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, the NYC Green Relief & Recovery Fund, and the Lily Auchincloss Foundation. To learn more about supporting this program, please contact Katherine Sacco, katherine@urbandesignforum.org

Image credit: Courtesy of Brooklyn Business Center

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